Thursday, January 31st, 2013

MAC Altered State Eyeshadow
MAC Altered State Eyeshadow

MAC Altered State Eyeshadow ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “deep frosted blue purple” with a Veluxe Pearl finish. It’s a darkened purple with subtle burgundy-brown undertones and a dusting of micro-shimmer. OCC Overlook is lighter, redder. Buxom Schnauzer is slightly lighter and a cream product. Tarina Tarantino Fantastical #5 is richer, darker.

If it sounds familiar, it has made a couple of appearances in MAC’s holiday palettes. The shade is good, but for a Veluxe Pearl, it’s drier and more powdery than you’d expect–it doesn’t have that dense, almost buttery, feel of a Veluxe Pearl. The color payoff was true-to-pan, and it was blendable and fairly easy to apply. I wore it (along with the other eyeshadows in the collection), and there was a smidgen of fading after wearing it for nine hours (no primer) but no fall out or creasing.  There was some minor fall out during application because of the drier texture.

The Glossover

LE
product

Altered State

B+
It's a good purple overall with nice pigmentation and blendability, but it is a little dry and powdery.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Strength: Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.21 oz.) consists of three new shades and one repromote: Lithe Spirit (palest white pink), Inner Strength (light cool mauve taupe), Fabulous Fit (mid-tone cool grey), and Heatherbelles (deep charcoal).  This is a rather cool-toned quad, more so than All Woman, with the only warmth coming from Inner Strength, which isn’t all that warm, so if you like cooler tones, you’ll be in luck with this color composition!

Lithe Spirit is a cool-toned white with a matte finish. It is listed as a satin finish, but I didn’t see much sheen in it (or any). It had good pigmentation, but it was a touch powdery. Urban Decay Venus is a touch warmer and more shimmery. MAC Vanilla is warmer.

Inner Strength is a warm peach with subtle pink undertones and a barely-there sheen, though it is listed as a matte. It had good color payoff, and it was soft to the touch. Too Faced Peach Fuzz has gold sparkle. Urban Decay Freestyle has less pink. MAC Nubile is similar in color but is a cream product.

Fabulous Fit is a light gray with blue undertones and has a matte finish. It was a bit weak on pigmentation, and it had a drier texture that made blending harder. Estee Lasuder Modern Mercury is more metallic. MAC Scene is darker. Chanel Gris Exquis is also darker. Inglot #339 is somewhat darker but closest with respect to its cool undertone.

Heather Belles is a dark gray with a mostly matte finish but there’s a touch of sheen; the sheen becomes more apparent when blended out. It has a satin finish, and the color payoff is so-so–it is a stiffer, drier shade. Urban Decay Ace is more shimmery. Guerlain Les Gris is matte. Estee Lauder Black Chrome is darker.

The quality of Inner Strength as a quad is below-average to average.  It’s not impressive, and it’s not the most heinous release we’ve seen from MAC.  It’s middle-of-the-road.  The problem with this palette is in the textures, which tended to be a bit dry and stiff (in the case of Fabulous Fit and Heatherbelles).  Lithe Spirit was somewhat powdery, which can have a tendency to make such a pale color look chalky on darker complexions.  Inner Strength was the best-performing shade here, as it wasn’t so soft that it was powdery, but it wasn’t too dry or firm that you couldn’t get color payoff out of it.  The shades lasted for seven and a half hours and looked just a smidgen faded after eight hours.

The Glossover

palette

Inner Strength

C
The quality of Inner Strength as a quad is below-average to average. It's not impressive, and it's not the most heinous release we've seen from MAC. It's middle-of-the-road.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad
MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Strength: All Woman Eyeshadow Quad

MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.19 oz.) consists of four new shades: Flawless Figure (pale warm shimmering white), Brains & Brawn (mid-tone taupe), All Woman (greenish dark grey), and Black Magique (deep, dark black with warm tones).  The color composition reads cool-toned to me, both at a glance and when applied, though it’s not overly cool-toned–closer to neutral-cool.

Flawless Figure is a bright white with a high frosted sheen. It has a veluxe pearl, officially, and it had great color payoff. Cinderella Midnight Hour is similar but warmer-toned. MAC Crystal Avalanche is very similar. Maybelline Too Cool is a touch more metallic, and it is also a cream product.

Brains & Brawn is a medium-dark taupe; a mix of gray and brown for a rather balanced taupe. It has a matte finish, and the color payoff was decent to good. It seemed to apply best with a fluffier brush. It is grayer than Urban Decay Naked 2. MAC Omega is browner, warmer. Estee Lauder Tempting Mocha is similar but a touch purple.

All Woman is a green-tinged dark gray with a dusting of shimmer, though it is mostly matte. This shade had rather weak color payoff, as the texture was dry and stiff. Tarte Stiletto almost looked a bit like this, just darker because it had more pigmentation. bareMinerals Earth is a bit lighter.

Black Magique is a brown-based dark black with a mostly matte finish, though it is officially a velvet finish. It reminded me a lot of Urban Decay Crave. Le Metier de Beaute Fin is darker, richer.

I think the inclusion of the ultra-shimmery shade Flawless Figure doesn’t make the most sense; it’s just very, very shimmery and ended up detracting from the overall composition of the palette. My gut was, “Don’t use it! Don’t use it!” but it’s a quad, so I really wanted to try and incorporate all four shades–and no, I should have went with my gut there!   A better use for it would be to lightly mix it with one of the other shades to create varying levels of shimmer/sheen and lightness.  It performed well, but it seemed out of place in this quad.  

All Woman was disappointing with its drier, stiffer texture, which made it difficult to blend as well as apply. Brains & Brawn is the kind of color I see anyone who wears neutrals getting a lot of use out of, and it’s a shame we don’t see more of these matte taupes in permanent, core ranges (across all brands).  It will work nicely for sculpting and defining the crease on light to medium (possibly medium-dark) complexions.  The eyeshadows wore for just under eight hours without creasing or fading.

The Glossover

palette

All Woman

B
It can be amazing how one shade can make you go, "Ooh! I need this!" even if the rest do not sing out in the same way. Brains & Brawn draws me in, but All Woman kills the value of the palette.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad

Not Quite as Tempting as Touted

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes four shades: Look at the Eyes (light violet), Stay Sultry (deep navy), Naval (navy blue), and Carbon (intense black).  It’s a limited edition palette that will launch with Taste Temptation, due for release in-stores on December 13th.

Look at the Eyes is a pale lilac with a frosted finish. It has decent color payoff, though when I used it, I really packed it on to get it to show up. It was the best performing shade out of the four. MAC Creative Whim is similar–a bit purpler. MAC Silverwear is lighter. OCC Datura is more iridescent, brighter.

Stay Sultry is a blackened purple with a bluish shimmer. It’s supposed to have a satin finish. It had a stiff, dry texture when I attempted to swatch it, and it performed similarly on the lid. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard is purpler. MAC Indian Ink is also purpler, but it is similar. MAC Spellcaster is a touch redder.

Naval is an indigo blue; there’s just this purplish tint that keeps it from being as blue as it seems. It seemed even less blue when I was working with it on the eye. It looks like a matte, though it is listed as a velvet finish on the label. OCC Technoir is brighter, bluer. NARS Self Portrait 3 is lighter. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is shimmery. NARS Self Portrait 1 is more vibrant. This shade is part of the permanent (PRO) range.

Carbon is a matte black. It has sheer color payoff with a stiff, dry texture that makes blending difficult. It’s part of the permanent range, and it’s been repromoted more than a few times recently. Shades like Wet ‘n’ Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine, NARS Self Portrait 2, Milani Pitch Black, and other black eyeshadows are all similar. Matte black is a basic enough color, so it’s really about finding the texture and richness of black that you like best. Carbon is a softer black (I’d describe it as a medium black).

The best part of the quad was inviting one to use the set of four shades together. It’s a very dark set of colors, aside from the one light one, so it was interesting trying to come up with something that used all four. The best shade was Look at the Eyes, which was softer than the other three, and it proved to have the most color payoff. You might say to yourself, “But it looks pigmented in the how-to,” but since the images are static, let me tell you that in order to develop the intensity of the crease color (Naval), I put brush to pan five times. Then, three times a piece for all three shades I used on the lid (Stay Sultry, Look at the Eyes, Carbon). In comparison, for a good eyeshadow, once is usually enough.  I’ve been wearing all four eyeshadows over a primer as well as on bare lids–and you absolutely need a primer to get decent color payoff–for the past six hours, and everything looks good thus far. If I experience any fading/creasing, I’ll update the post later tonight to reflect that.

I don’t think you should have to work this hard, period; more budget-friendly brands have put out higher quality products and have proven that you don’t need to spend a lot to get pigment-packed eyeshadow.  There’s absolutely no reason why a higher-end brand like MAC should put out dry, stiff eyeshadows with chalky, uneven color payoff.  For a similar (but these are not exact dupes!) composition by MAC with higher quality shades from their permanent range, try Beautiful Iris, Indian Ink, Atlantic Blue (for a brighter blue) or Contrast (slightly darker), and Typographic (or your preferred matte black).

The Glossover

palette

Taste Temptation

D
I don't think you should have to work this hard, period; more budget-friendly brands have put out higher quality products and have proven that you don't need to spend a lot to get pigment-packed eyeshadow. There's absolutely no reason why a higher-end brand like MAC should put out dry, stiff eyeshadows with chalky, uneven color payoff.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Sunday, October 28th, 2012

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit
MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit

Golden, What Happened to You?

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit ($49.50) contains seven products: Golden (Bronzing Powder, muted golden tan-beige with shimmer), Hearts-a-flutter (eyeshadow, warm pink with silver pearl), Romance Me (eyeshadow, warm plum with gold pearl), Shadowy Lady (eyeshadow, blackened plum), Barely Lit (lipstick, neutral pink withgold pearls), Headturner (lipstick, mid-tone cool cream plum), and a dual-ended 275SE/316SE brush.

Each Eyeshadow is approximately 0.033 oz. (total weight is 0.10 oz.), while the Bronzing Powder is 0.10 oz., and each Lipstick is 0.03 oz. There is a dual-ended brush that has the 275SE on one end and the 316SE on the other end. The kit contains $30.00 worth of eyeshadow, $6.86 worth of Bronzing Powder, and $9.00 worth of lipstick, for a total value of $45.86. You do get the dual-ended brush, but it really feels like a typical applicator that gets thrown into a lot of high-end palettes; the quality felt less than the usual SE brushes. The kit itself is packaged in a peach satin, but it’s smaller than the Divine Desire kits ($70.00), and it isn’t reusable from what I can tell–it’s more like the packaging used for the eyeshadow palettes.

Golden is a golden peach-brown with a peach shimmer-sheen. The texture was of this was very, very dry. It was so stiff, I had to jab layers of product off of it with a metal spatula. It was hard as a rock–I almost thought it was fake (this happened once, I received a MAC product that had a *plastic* replica of the powder in the compact). I’m not sure what happened, but the last time I swatched and reviewed Golden Bronzing Powder, I did not have the payoff and texture problems that I had with this one. This shade is part of the permanent range, so if you like how it looks in the pan, you might want to check out the full-sized version. MAC Nude on Board is a bit darker.

Barely Lit is a rosy beige with a little gold micro-shimmer to give it that “lit” effect. It has semi-sheer to semi-opaque color coverage. It has a lustre finish. In the pan, it almost felt and looked more like a gloss–it was very squishy. It wore for two hours. Laura Mercier Sandcastle is more subdued. MAC Viva Glam V is pinker. MAC Martha is similar, less shimmery.

Headturner is a berry red with a purple-tinge. It is mostly opaque on lips, and it has a Cremesheen finish. It lasted for four hours on my lips. NARS Afghan Red is redder. MAC Rebel is richer, brighter. Guerlain Guet-Apens is redder. MAC Red Dwarf is a bit darker and more subdued. MAC Positively Dashing is similar, less shimmery.

Hearts-a-flutter is a pale pink-tinged white with a satin finish, so there is a noticeable sheen but nothing too frosted. It had so-so color payoff. It looks quite a bit like MAC Radial Pink from the eye kit! Chanel Harmonie du Soir is pinker. Tarina Tarantino Delightful is similar, slightly cooler-toned. Bare Escentuals Muse is less frosty. MAC Defiance is more iridescent.

Romance Me is a gray-tinged medium-dark brown with sallow brown undertones. It has a lustre finish, but it didn’t look or feel like one–seemed more like a frost, really. It didn’t have the loose sparkle that is a telltale sign of a lustre. It had decent color payoff, but the texture was a bit dry. MAC Earthly is lighter. Bare Escentuals Vow is darker. theBalm Celebrational is a smidgen grayer.

Shadowy Lady is a blackened purple with a matte finish. It’s dry, stubborn in texture, and the color is a bit uneven. When I applied it to the lid, it wasn’t as blendable as a really good matte eyeshadow is. This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s an often-included shade in holiday palettes. MAC Spellcaster is more purple. MAC Indian Ink is more purple, richer.

It is interesting that the pink shade has such a strong resemblance to Radial Pink, which is in the duo alongside Shadowy Lady! I’m also surprised to see Shadowy Lady repromoted twice in two different products, since it’s already a permanent shade as well. Golden was a complete miss here, unfortunately. It’s one of the more wearable bronzers across complexions, though I think MAC would have made this palette more appealing by including a blush rather than bronzer (maybe something pinky-plum).

I know there is a split on Lustres and Cremesheens–some find them drying (this is where I am) and others love them. Barely Lit was somewhat drying, and Headturner was just a wee bit drying over time. I didn’t have any fall out with Romance Me, in spite of its lustre finish, which was great news. The eyeshadows did have to be applied over a primer, because they were not pigmented enough to be used alone.

P.S. — This is the last of the MAC reviews until Guilty Pleasures launches (which is next week), so for the non-MAC fans, there is a reprieve on the horizon. :)

The Glossover

palette

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The two lipsticks help to keep the pigmentation score from falling totally flat, but they were slightly drying on me, which tended to neutralize their effect on the total palette. The bronzer was a huge let-down, and Shadowy Lady wasn't easy to work with.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Saturday, October 27th, 2012

MAC Decadently Pink Eye Look Bag
MAC Decadently Pink Eye Look Bag

A Bag of Holiday Tricks

MAC Decadently Pink Eye Look Bag ($46.50) contains an eyeshadow duo that features Radial Pink (powder pink with silver sheen pearl) and Shadowy Lady (blackened plum). Shadowy Lady is permanent. It also includes a 275SE brush, Opulash Mascara, and Bordeauxline (deep rich brown) eyeliner. The eyeshadow duo is 0.09 oz (full-sized), Powerpoint Eye Pencil is 0.04 oz. (full-sized), Opulash Mascara is .38 oz. (full-sized). The total value of the kit is $58.50 for the cosmetics in it; this doesn’t include the value of the brush and bag.

Radial Pink is pale white with a hint of pink and a frosted, metallic sheen. The finish is officially a frost. It has so-so pigmentation. Chanel Harmonie du Soir is pinker. Tarina Tarantino Delightful is similar, slightly cooler-toned. Bare Escentuals Muse is less frosty. MAC Defiance is more iridescent.

Shadowy Lady is a blackened purple with a matte finish. It’s dry, stubborn in texture, and the color is a bit uneven. When I applied it to the lid, it wasn’t as blendable as a really good matte eyeshadow is. This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s an often-included shade in holiday palettes. MAC Spellcaster is more purple. MAC Indian Ink is more purple, richer.

Bordeauxline is eggplant purple with a matte finish. It has decent color payoff, but it doesn’t build well, so it always look a bit faded and uneven. Make Up For Ever #4L is similar but has a sheen. CoverGirl Violet Voltage is comparable.

To reiterate:  the bag that this comes with is small, and the mascara and eyeliner barely fit in it.  You have to make sure to push them to the bottom and wiggle them in at an angle. I was surprised to see the bag that they came with wasn’t an easy fit.  It’s a clear vinyl bag with leopard and lace printing on the exterior/interior with a minty green satin beneath it.

The best product in the set is actually the mascara, which wears well and lengthens nicely.  The three color products are okay but none of them are top notch, excellent products.  Shadowy Lady is difficult to work with and needs patience to use, while Radial Pink had a tendency to fade–it was noticeably patchy after six hours over a primer.  Bordeauxline looks uneven and faded, never looking as rich on as it does in the pencil itself.  The eyeliner lasted seven hours but was noticeably faded after eight.

The Glossover

product

MAC Decadently Pink Eye Look Bag Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The best product in the set is actually the mascara, which wears well and lengthens nicely. The three color products are okay but none of them are top notch, excellent products.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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